POLS 415: CRIMINAL LAW SYLLABUS

Instructor: Thomas D. Arado Spring 2007

Email: NIUCrimLaw@aol.com Office Hours by Appointment

Course Description

This course examines criminal law in the United States, with a focus on the substantive elements of criminal law.

Text Required

Criminal Law (8th Edition) by Joel Samaha (2005). READ IT.

Course Requirements

Class attendance is required. There will be a roll sheet distributed at each class session and absences will be recorded for later use as a factor in computing the final course grade. It is your responsibility to ensure that your attendance is noted on the roll sheet.

Missing more than three (3) classes will result in an automatic reduction by one-half () of the attendance/preparation/participation portion of your grade.

Class participation will also be required. I recognize some students may not be as comfortable as others in speaking in class. However, it is part of the educational experience. Students may be called upon during class to present case facts, issues, and reasoning of the courts in the judicial opinions you have read. Other times hypothetical scenarios may be presented for which student input will be sought. Failure to be prepared to participate when called upon will result in a reduction of the attendance/preparation/participation portion of your grade.

Reading of the course materials is required to be able to do well on the exams. Lectures and discussion are designed to explain and supplement the reading material, not to replace it. In addition, some Illinois statutes and/or cases may be provided on Blackboard for review during class. These materials may be subject to inclusion on tests.

Exams represent a total of 90% of your grade. If you are unable to take an exam at the scheduled time, you must contact me BEFORE the exam to arrange a make-up time. Failure to contact me BEFORE the exam will result in a ZERO (0) on the exam unless you can provide a doctor's note (on the doctor's letterhead), police report, or other appropriate documentation explaining why you could not take the exam at the scheduled time.

Course Grading

There will be three tests given during this course, each worth 30% of your total class grade. Each test will be 50 objective questions worth two points per question. Each test will be primarily taken from the most recent material covered including text, any additional Illinois statutes/cases supplied, and class lecture/discussion. The remaining 10 % will come from class attendance, preparation and participation.

Important Additional Information

Undergraduate Writing Awards

The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department's spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages - one with the student's name and one without the student's name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year's competition even if the student has graduated.



Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.



Department of Political Science Web Site

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu

Calendar of Class Assignments

1/22/07 Introduction, roll call, review of text, course requirements, and court systems



1/29/07 First Things First, The Nature and Limits of Criminal Law pp. 1- 24



2/05/07 Constitutional Limits on Criminal Law pp. 25-53



2/12/07 The General Principles of Criminal Liability: Actus Reus pp. 54-85



2/19/07 Exam #1

(LECTURE FOLLOWS EXAM!!!)

Criminal Liability: Mens Rea, Concurrence, Causation pp. 86- 113



2/26/07 Parties to Crime and Vicarious Liability pp. 114-144



3/05/07 Inchoate Crimes: Attempt, Conspiracy and Solicitation pp. 145-189



3/12/07 SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS



3/19/07 Defenses to Criminal Liability: Justifications pp. 190- 237



3/26/07 Exam #2

(LECTURE FOLLOWS EXAM!!!)

Defenses to Criminal Liability: Excuses pp. 238-280



4/02/07 Crimes Against Persons: Criminal Homicide pp. 281-331



4/09/07 Crimes Against Persons: Criminal Sexual Conduct & Others pp. 332-372



4/16/07 Crimes Against Property pp. 373-423



4/23/07 Crimes Against Public Order and Morals pp. 424- 461



4/30/07 Crimes Against the State pp. 462- 498



5/7/07 Final Exam - 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.